By Terry W. Schneider
What, When, Where, Why and How
This is a draft in progress.
Any person or persons who was/were part of The Dade County Coalition for Gay Rights in 1976 and 1977 or have knowledge of information of the period I ask that you contact me at:
email: email@example.com and use in the subject line: "about Lambda 76" or
phone: 919.622.1360 or
US Mail: 507 Alma Ave, Hillsborough, NC 27278-2001
The Lambda76 Logo conceptual design was in the fall of 1975 while I was living in Hialeah, Florida. The logo was inspired by the bicentennial design on the new Southern Bell phone book for 1976 that came out in October 1975. It stated 200 years of freedom. My reaction to this was bullshit, as there was no freedom for gay people in the United States. It was this frame of mind that created the Lambda76 Logo. At first it had the joined male and female sex symbols with the words Freedom and Justice. It was a close friend who strongly suggested that many heterosexuals suffer from the same social phobias as homosexuals. Thus the heterosexual symbol was added with the word Dignity.
I was not a political orientated person and thus after the design I was looking for some gay organization in the Miami, Florida area to adopt the logo. At this time there were a handful of organizations for gays and lesbians. Dignity, Gay Catholics, was one of these groups. It was a graphic artist in this organization that took the design and made it camera ready. As of the middle of March 1976, no organization or person had adopted the logo as theirs. It was at this time that I saw a flyer in a Ft. Lauderdale Men’s Club about a gay conference in Chapel Hill, NC.; The First Annual Southeastern Gay Conference at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I decided at this time to run with the Logo. And running I did. I went to the conference with a complete business plan of Lambda76 and presented it in a workshop at the conference.
Now you know the “What, When, Where, Why and How” the Logo came into existence.
Keep watching this web site for the rest of the story of how Lambda76 became a viable part of the original Dade County Collation for Gay Rights and the first Dade County pro Gay Rights ordinance.
The following is the first part of the saga that led to the Anita Bryant against gays.
The First Annual Southeastern Gay Conference was held on Friday - Sunday, 30-31 March, 1 April 1976 at the Student Union building of UNC-CH. There were 11 individuals from Florida including myself. At the advice of the conference facilities they suggested that all represented states should hold a state caucus on Sunday morning. The intention was for each state to go back to their respective states and plan a similar conference. I can not speak for the other states, but the eleven of us from Florida did just that. In April the first planning meeting for the first Florida Gay Conference meet in Tampa at the Tampa University and started the preliminary plans for a conference. A group of students from the Orlando Junior College, now known as a community college, offered to host the event on their campus. On Memorial Day weekend in 1976 the first Gay Conference was held in Florida at the Orlando Junior College. It was a one day event with key speakers, workshops and a dance in the evening. The Lambda 76 logo and the gay event conference made the local evening news. Far did we know that this was only the start for gay awareness in Florida. Word on what transpired started to get around and other students were considering putting on such events.
The next event for me and Lambda 76 was the hosting of the first gay pride weekend in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale area in June of 1976. I sponsored a couple of workshops at the office facilities of Bob Kuntz in downtown Coconut Grove, a section of Miami, a beach cleanup of the gay beach area on Key Biscayne, a drag show in the Ft. Lauderdale area and a dance to end the weekend. The gay bars owners were very supportive by donating cases of beer for the beach cleanup, hosting the show and dance.
On a July weekend in 1976 Jack Campbell, owner the gay men club & bath in Miami, hosted a meeting at his house with the intent to form a gay coalition that will become a gay voting action group. Then we called it a gay voting block. The Dade County Coalition for the Rights of Gays was founded on this Saturday day in July. On this day it was agreed by the 15 founding members from 12 various groups that a political action statement would be drafted by the appointed spoke person, Bob Baskar, stating our concerns to the elected officials in Dade County and the State of Florida as to their position on Equality of Rights for Gays in the state. Baskar drafted the letter with a position form, I typed it up and mailed 200 copies to up coming candidates. The political candidates in Dade County Florida were mailed an additional letter stating that there will be a physical screening of the candidates at the YWCA in downtown Miami.
I do not know what kind of response that we got from state wide candidates. We did get 100 percent response from the candidates in Dade County. We as a coalition held a two evening screening event of the Dade County candidates running for office in 1976 at the YMCA in downtown Miami.
More to come
From this date on 2009 I no longer have notes and files or anything left from my past as the Forest Manager at Duke University destroyed my home and everything in it during the first week of June 2008. I therefore will be working from my memory of the events from the initial mailings to the vote on the ordinance by the people of Dade County in June 1977.